They were slow to gather for the 10k run to commemorate the death of young David McShane, and to raise awareness and money for a new curse that stalks so many communties in the Ireland of today
It wasn’t so much a race as a community running together as a one uniting arm supporting the McShane family who have suffered before in other awful circumstances when they lost their daughter Margarita in a car accident.
So many others too were also fondly remembered and missed last Saturday.
They gathered in brilliant sunshine below Taaffes Castle and when the pipes and drums of the Carlingford pipe band sounded the runners gathered in behind led by David’s father and mother Jimmy and Martina, and sons James and Gareth.
They walked the rectangular length of the tennis court perimeter and back to the starting arch.
There could not have been one, who knew the reason why they were there that was not moved in the silence of their own thoughts for that five minute walk.
And then, they were off at the sound of the starting pistol fired by our new Miss Louth from Cooley Patricia Marmion.
The 250 runners and walkers were led by pacemaker Gareth McShane on his bicycle at a tough pace up Newry Street and down the back lane and out into the peninsula.
We had hardly said goodbye to them when the first of them Colm Gormley from Rathcor– roared on by Alo Mc Grath on the mike - came through the finishing arch.
He was met and congratulated by programme sponsor Alan Johnson of Taaffe’s Castle.
They were still coming through an hour after the first guy home and each was cheered like they were the winner and indeed they were.
Alan Johnson provided a barbecue for all those who took part.
By the end of day the rawness of losing one’s child must still be with the McShane family but the day’s event would surely have eased it a little as the community came out as one to support them at a brilliantly organised event.
These sorts of events cannot happen without prime movers and great credit is due to James McShane, Philip Woods, Katia Murphy and Alan Johnson.
The organisers wish to thank everyone who helped or sponsored in any way.